A New Digital Era in the World of the Olympics

The pandemic completely flipped a switch on the whole world, as we all went into lock down. The Olympics is a sporting event that occurs every 4 years, Tokyo had been preparing for the 2020 Olympics for many years until these unforeseen events cancelled their plans. With COVID-19 clearing up, for the most part, Tokyo postponed the Olympics to July 23rd, 2021. With this pandemic it caused for the world of digital marketing to have a great exponential growth which the Olympics digital team took advantage off. This sudden cancellation caused many sponsors and digital campaigns to waste their time and assets. In continuation, with this hurdle thrown at the Olympics digital team they all agreed the best way to progress and reorganize was to lead their focus on digital content and advertising.

         As appearing on many advertisements the Olympics this year still remained with the name ‘Tokyo 2020’; the International Olympic Committee made this decision to keep the feeling and emotion of the 4 year tradition, it was as well a commercial decision. This new world of digital marketing caused the team to brainstorm the best way to engage with their audience, and they came up with the concept of direct-to-consumer (DTC) this will allow for people to feel more connected with the event at these times of isolation. Their main focus was to keep a personal connection with Olympic fans, one of the events they led was the 24-hour workout on YouTube with Olympic athletes from all over the world. They used hashtags such as #stayactive and #Olympicday to amplify their content to reach a greater amount of audiences. YouTube became a major platform that the Olympics worked with, developing over 5 million subscribers. They collaborated with previous athletes where they answered frequently asked questions all the way to showing previous Olympic highlights. They also worked with other media stars such as ‘The Try Guys’ who have over 7 million subscribers and they tried out a variety of Olympic sports for a series of YouTube videos. This series was a great idea for the Olympics as each video accumulated about 1 million views. Also, Chinese artist Jackson Wang who has a huge audience in the US and Asia with 24.8 million followers, a previous Olympic Fencer, ran a whole campaign in collaboration with the Olympics to promote the event.

         Not only did the Olympics digital team take advantage of the world of social media, but so did many of the athletes. Many international Olympic competing athletes have gone viral by showing of their daily routines, their Olympic bedroom, and also the COVID-19 precautions they are taking. Team USA Volleyball Olympian Erik Shoji (@thelibero on TikTok) has had multiple videos go viral showing off these controversial cardboard beds that had the media going crazy. Mexican Olympian Swimmer Angel Martinez (@angel.dorado on TikTok) also had a viral tik tok video with over 8 million views testing out the cardboard beds with his roommate. There is plenty more athletes who have used media applications such as TikTok and Instagram to promote their team as well as allow their fans to gain a more personal connection and an insight to the Olympics experience. In conclusion, the 2020 Olympics might have started off on a bad note but with this new digital era it has allowed for the audience of the Olympics to expand.

Sophia Montoya


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